MOSCOW (Reuters) - A deal is vital at talks between world powers and Tehran on Iran's nuclear program and Russia is not considering the possibility of the negotiations failing, a senior Russian envoy said on Wednesday.
A Nov. 24 deadline has been set for Iran and the six powers to clinch a deal that would provide assurances to the West that Tehran's nuclear program will not be used to build nuclear weapons, in exchange for an easing of sanctions on Iran.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who took part in the latest talks in Muscat on Sunday and Monday, said Moscow was doing all it could to help the sides reach a deal.
"We aren't looking at the possibility of not reaching a deal by Nov. 24. We are focused completely on the task before us in so far as we have a chance and it's not small. We can't miss (the opportunity)," he was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
Russia has warmer relations with Iran than other powers involved in the talks which also involve the United States, Germany, China, France and Britain.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI), was in Moscow on Tuesday for talks on nuclear power cooperation.
"Before Nov. 24, it's not just possible to make the deadline, it's necessary. I would like to underscore that we're doing very much for that," Ryabkov said.
(Reporting by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)